Experience the rugged Rocky Mountains with a hike on Bear Creek Trail. You and your four legged hiking buddy will be treated to puptacular views of sheer rock cliffs, lush forests, and the cascading waters of Southern Colorado’s Bear Creek.
This trail is going to give your pup a real leg workout. Through a series of switchbacks, the trail rises 1,000 feet in elevation within the first mile. While you are huffing and puffing, soak in the views of Uncompahgre Gorge and Mount Sneffels. The next section of the trail runs along narrow ledges that were blasted into the cliff walls by miners in days gone by. Hundreds of feet below the ledge, you’ll see the impressive Bear Creek. If your furry friend is scared of heights or skittish in any way, it’s probably a good idea to call it quits before you get to this point.
If you continue the hike, the next pawsome feature you’ll come to is the old Bear Creek Mine. A metal shed, rusty mining equipment, and dilapidated wood building are all that’s left of this 19th century gold and silver mine. From here, follow the trail as it ascends another couple miles to Yellow Jacket Mining Camp. This scenic camp sits in a meadow with snowcapped peaks in the background. You’ll find more mining equipment and another wood building. Some of the weathered lumber has protruding nails, so keep an eye on your pooch. Just after Yellow Jacket, the trail splits. Bear Creek South Fork Trail #242 veers south about 2.5 miles to Engineer Mountain Pass. Bear Creek Trail #241.1A travels 2.3 miles north and connects with Horsethief Trail on American Flats.
To access this furrific hike, follow US Highway 550 two miles south of Ouray. Right after you exit the tunnel, the trailhead is on the west side of the road. Water is not available, so make sure you bring plenty of H2O. Although this trail packs a punch, the puptastic scenery will leave your pooch wanting more!